Little Book of Confusables

Adverse vs averse: simple tips to remember the difference

ADVERSE vs AVERSE – simple tips to remember the difference

ADVERSE and AVERSE are easy to confuse. They may sound similar but they have different meanings… and I have a simple tip to remember the difference between them.

ADVERSE means harmful or unfavourable. It’s often used with the word ‘effects’ – particularly by newsreaders and journalists – like this: “the local area is feeling the adverse effects of the decision to close the factory,” or, “Adverse weather conditions over the weekend caused havoc in the town.”

The best way to remember the spelling of adverse is to think of the D in adverse and D for damage.

AVERSE means having a strong dislike for something. It’s often followed by the word ‘to’: for example, “I’m averse to bad weather” or used in a phrase like ‘risk-averse’.

ADVERSE and AVERSE are both fairly formal, slightly stuffy-sounding words, so you may be better off rewording your sentence altogether to avoid them.

Get more tips in The Little Book of Confusables

Confusables: ADVERSE vs AVERSE. Simple spelling tips to remember the difference, from The Little Book of Confusables

ADVERSE vs AVERSE. Excerpt from The Little Book of Confusables by Sarah Townsend.

The Little Book of Confusables by Sarah Townsend

No more confusing words!

The Little Book of Confusables is jam-packed with simple, memorable, fun spelling tips for 600 commonly confused words – from ACCEPT + EXCEPT to YOUNG + YOUTHFUL.

Supercharge your vocabulary with the 2023 GOLD award winner, described as The perfect book for anyone who ever has to write anything!”.


Your fun guide to confusing words
The Little Book of Confusables
Buy Now